Mark Steyn is fond of asking, “How do you solve a problem like sharia?” The answer turns out to be simpler than we thought: If you can’t beat its proponents, join ’em.” And if you haven’t even tried to beat its proponents, join ’em anyway, especially if you’re a cowering blancmange like the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

The Archbishop of Canterbury caused consternation yesterday by calling for Islamic law to be recognised in Britain.

He declared that sharia and Parliamentary law should be given equal legal status so the people could choose which governs their lives.

This raised the prospect of Islamic courts in Britain with full legal powers to approve polygamous marriages, grant easy divorce for men and prevent finance firms from charging interest.

His comments in a BBC interview and a lecture to lawyers were condemned at a time when government ministers are striving to encourage integration and stop the nation from “sleepwalking to segregation”.

The Prime Minister rapidly distanced himself from Dr Williams’s view. Gordon Brown’s spokesman said: “Our general position is that sharia law cannot be used as a justification for committing breaches of English law, nor should the principles of sharia law be included in a civil court for resolving contractual disputes.

“The Prime Minister believes British law should apply in this country, based on British values.”

As of this writing, Wikipedia notes that “The Archbishop of Canterbury is [sic] complete wally and principal leader of the Church of England.” Wikipedia’s not the only one who thinks so: From the Telegraph, more on the head wally in charge here and here.